bw-home-icon[1] Cultural Facilities Corporation home u Annual Report 2016-17 home











B.1 Organisational Overview


The CFC’s 2016-21 Strategic Plan provides the overarching framework for the organisation’s planning activities over a five-year period, including for the development of its annual corporate plans. 

The Strategic Plan identifies the CFC’s role, vision, key values and principles, and key priorities.  It also identifies the mission, purpose, vision and key strategies both for the organisation as a whole and for its three program delivery divisions :

>        the Canberra Theatre Centre;

>        the Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG), including the Nolan Collection Gallery @ CMAG; and

>        the ACT Historic Places : Lanyon, Calthorpes’ House and Mugga-Mugga.  


Our vision is for Canberra to be a creative capital that values the arts for their intrinsic qualities, their contribution to building a more inclusive and resilient society, their support for making the city an exciting place to live and an attractive destination for business and tourism, and their important role in the economy of the ACT and region.

We see the CFC as a leader in this creative city, providing high quality cultural experiences based on the arts and heritage resources that we hold in trust for the people of Canberra, and playing a significant role in the region’s cultural and economic life.


The mission/purpose statements identified in the Strategic Plan are supported by statements as to what the CFC is seeking to achieve in a number of areas, as set out below.


What we are

An enterprise of the ACT Government that manages a number of Canberra’s major cultural facilities

What we do

We connect people with rich and diverse cultural experiences through activities at our venues

Our vision

To provide cultural leadership in the Canberra region and beyond

What we want to achieve

Leadership : A cultural leader in the ACT region and beyond

Strategy : A clear direction for our future

Governance  : An accountable and dynamic organisation

People : An employer of choice

Finances : Long-term financial sustainability

Assets : Support for delivering high quality cultural experiences


Canberra Theatre Centre

What we are

The Canberra region’s main theatre centre, incorporating the Canberra Theatre, The Playhouse and the Courtyard Studio

What we do

We connect people with theatre experiences of national and international quality

Our vision

To be a leading theatre centre in Australasia and Asia

What we want to achieve

Customers : Audiences that are growing, diverse, engaged and entertained

Programming : A diverse, high quality, entertaining and distinctive program

Business : Venues, systems and people that support high quality live performance

Leadership : An integral part of the cultural life of the Canberra region and beyond



What we are

A museum and gallery dedicated to the visual arts and social history of the Canberra region

What we do

We connect people with the Canberra region’s rich and diverse stories, sense of place, and contemporary identity

Our vision

To be a leading regional cultural venue in Australia and beyond

What we want to achieve

Customers  : Audiences that are growing, diverse, engaged and entertained

Programming : Exhibitions and programs that reflect Canberra’s unique identity

Stewardship : Venues and collections that allow us to tell the many stories of Canberra

Leadership : An integral part of the cultural life of the Canberra region and beyond


ACT Historic Places

What we are

Three historic places that reflect different aspects of Canberra’s history : Lanyon, Calthorpes’ House and Mugga-Mugga

What we do

We connect people with Canberra’s rich and diverse stories and heritage

Our vision

To be leading historic places in Australia and beyond

What we want to achieve

Customers : Audiences that are growing, diverse, engaged and entertained

Programming : Programs that explore Canberra’s history by interpreting each place

Stewardship : Buildings, grounds and collections that are conserved and researched

Leadership : An integral part of the cultural life of the Canberra region and beyond

Key Values and Principles


>        We are committed to providing cultural leadership, excellence and innovation, including leadership in using digital applications to enhance our systems and programs.


>        We actively seek to engage our communities in a greater understanding of the value of the arts, and of our cultural heritage, through our programs and activities, placing customer service as our primary goal and recognising the diverse needs and expectations of our customers.


>        We value cooperative and strategic partnerships across all areas of our activities.


>        We place major importance on maintaining professional standards in the management of our facilities and in the design and delivery of our programs.

In observing these values, we are committed to implementing the :

>        ACT Government Service Values : respect, integrity, collaboration and innovation;

>        Principles of the 2015 ACT Arts Policy : participation and access to the arts; great arts and great artists; vitality of the Canberra region arts ecology; and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures; and

>        ACT Government’s Strategic Priorities.


The CFC was established under the Cultural Facilities Corporation Act 1997 (the CFC Act), which came into operation as from 1 November 1997.

The functions of the CFC, as set out in the CFC Act (Section 6) are :

>        to manage, develop, present, coordinate and promote cultural activities at designated locations and other places in the ACT;

>        to establish and research collections;

>        to conserve and exhibit collections in the possession or under the control of the CFC;

>        to undertake activities, in cooperation with other people if appropriate, to exercise its other functions; and

>        to exercise other functions given to the CFC under this Act or another Territory Law.

The CFC Act (Section 7) requires that the CFC, in exercising its functions, must consider :

>        any cultural policies or priorities of the Executive known to the CFC; and

>        other cultural activities in the ACT.

The CFC is responsible for :

>        the Canberra Theatre Centre;

>        CMAG;

>        the Nolan Collection Gallery @ CMAG; and

>        the ACT Historic Places : Lanyon, Calthorpes’ House and Mugga-Mugga.

The CFC’s functions therefore include the performing arts, the visual arts, social history and cultural heritage management.  The organisation delivers a range of cultural services to the community by providing activities such as theatre presentations, exhibitions, and education and community programs, and through conserving and presenting significant aspects of the ACT’s cultural heritage.

Additional information about the CFC can be found at the following websites :

> covering whole of CFC matters;

> covering the Canberra Theatre Centre;

> covering CMAG and the Nolan Collection Gallery @ CMAG; and

> covering the ACT Historic Places.

Clients and stakeholders

The CFC reports to the Minister for the Arts and Community Events.  The Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate (CMTEDD) is the “parent” directorate for the CFC.  The CFC’s other clients and stakeholders include :

>        the community of the ACT and region;

>        visitors to the ACT;

>        the arts, cultural, heritage, education, business and tourism sectors, including other cultural organisations;

>        national producers of performing arts, including commercial and funded companies;

>        the diplomatic community; and

>        the media, especially the Canberra media.


Organisational structure

During 2016-17, a restructure of the senior management of the ACT Museums and Galleries division of the CFC was implemented, resulting in the creation of separate positions of Director, CMAG and Director, ACT Historic Places.  The Director, CMAG positon took on the additional role of Director, Corporate Strategy, working with the CEO on strategic projects.  This means that the CFC is now organised into three program delivery divisions: the Canberra Theatre Centre, CMAG, and the ACT Historic Places, together with a central finance/corporate section.  The CFC’s top level organisational chart as of 30 June 2017 is provided below.

Figure B.1.3a CFC Organisational Chart

Title: 2016-17 Organisation Chart


Organisational environment

During 2016-17, the CFC had close working relationships with a number of ACT Government agencies including Cultural Canberra, ACT Heritage Unit and Council, VisitCanberra, Libraries ACT, Office of the Coordinator-General, Environment and Planning Directorate, Education and Training Directorate, Shared Services, ACT Property Group, Territory Records Office, Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre, ACT Treasury and ACT Audit Office.

Planning Framework

As noted in Section B.1.1, the CFC has adopted a five-year Strategic Plan that provides the overarching framework for the organisation’s planning activities, including for the development of its annual corporate plans. 

The CFC’s 2016-17 Corporate Plan, based on its 2016-21 Strategic Plan, identified the actions the CFC intended to take during the year to work towards the Strategic Plan.  Results relating to these actions are reported in summary in this section and in detail in Section B.2. 

The CFC’s accountability indicators and targets for 2016-17 were identified in the CFC’s 2016-17 Statement of Intent, which was included in the 2016-17 ACT Budget papers.  The Statement of Intent also identified the CFC’s strategic objectives and indicators.  Results relating to the CFC’s accountability and strategic indicators are reported in summary in this section and in detail in the 2016-17 Statement of Performance at Attachment 1, to this report.


Performance outcomes – Accountability Indicators

2016-17 was an active and successful year for the CFC, in which the organisation achieved all its accountability indicators and in some cases significantly exceeded these.  For example, during the year the CFC :

>        welcomed 537,365 estimated visitors and patrons to its facilities and programs, a figure 50% above target and mainly relating to higher than expected visitors to CMAG touring exhibitions, together with above-target patrons at the Canberra Theatre Centre, and above-target visitors to the ACT Historic Places; 

>        provided 570 education and community programs, a figure 15% above target and relating particularly to the provision of programs at the ACT Historic Places; and

>        achieved a higher than expected number of days of venue usage at the Canberra Theatre Centre with a total of 624 days of usage, 8% above target.

Detailed performance results and variance explanations are included in the 2016-17 Statement of Performance at Attachment 1, to this report.  

Performance outcomes – Financial Management

The CFC achieved good business outcomes in 2016-17, as is reflected in its trading results for the year and its performance against its financial accountability indicators. 

The CFC’s overall financial result for 2016-17 was an operating deficit of $2.519m, which was 2% better than the budgeted deficit of $2.569m.  This result was mainly due to higher than budgeted theatre trading results.  It should be noted that, due to its large asset holdings and consequent significant depreciation expenses, the CFC always expects to have an operating deficit, since it is not funded for depreciation but receives capital injections through the capital works program.  The operating deficit for 2016-17 was lower than depreciation expenses for the year, meaning that the CFC achieved a cash surplus.

The better than budget trading result for the year allowed the CFC to make an addition of a further $300,000 to the Theatre Reserve at year end.  This reserve was established by the CFC at the end of the 2011-12 financial year, to assist it in managing fluctuations in the performing arts industry.  In particular, it helps offset the financial risk associated with major theatre programming ventures for the Canberra Theatre Centre, allowing the Centre to be more ambitious in bringing large-scale shows to Canberra.

The CFC achieved an own-sourced revenue figure of 53.9% as a proportion of total revenue for 2016-17, against a target of 46.3%.  The better than target result relates mainly to larger volumes of activity at the Canberra Theatre Centre than anticipated.  The CFC achieved a Cost to Government per estimated visitor/patron of $16.02 against a target of $24.25, the better than target result reflecting the above-target number of estimated visitors and patrons.

The CFC also completed all its 2016-17 capital works and capital upgrade projects by year-end, and acquitted 100% of its capital works funding for the year. 

A full analysis of the CFC’s financial results and financial position is set out in the Management Discussion and Analysis at Attachment 1, to this report.